• 30 Apr 2008 /  Motorcycling

    Mounting an EZ-Pass toll tag on a bike is always a bit of a challenge. When I bought my V-Strom the previous owner had put some really ugly black velcro on the windscreen to mount his EZ-Pass toll tag.
    Original Velcro
    Not only is it ugly, you have to look at it all the time, and since it’s not the proper velcro, it isn’t even very secure. I wanted something a bit more polished and inconspicuous.  Looking around the bike, the tag fit right in between the windscreen and the mount down low. I thought about just using the correct velcro down there, but it would be difficult to attach and remove given the angles involved. I swap my tag between my truck and the bike, so it needs to be easy to move. I figured I needed some sort of pocket.

    For the impatient, here’s the end result:

    Finished mount

    Here’s how to do it:

    Look around your basement and find a large black plastic container. Mine was actually for gunpowder, but any reasonably stiff, but flexible plastic would work.
    Cut the side out and bend it around your toll tag. I trimmed mine with scissors and made sure to leave the top exposed to allow the tag to be grabbed easily.
    I left the back side lower since I wanted to be able to easily see that the tag is there and also that edge will determine where it sits on the bracket. I tried to get some nice corners by bending over the edge of the bench, but it only worked so-so. A little curve seems to be fine though.
    In restrospect, I should have left the front taller to completely cover the tag, after installing, it doesn’t need the clearance there. Have to save that for v2.0.

    Next I found some nice wide electrical tape and wrapped it carefully around the whole thing to form the pocket.
    Taped up
    You want to keep it nice and tight as friction and gravity are the only things holding the tag in. Also be sure and get a wrap around above the thickest part of the tag, this pulls it in a bit above that ridge and makes it more secure. Try to be neat, but a few wrinkles or bubbles won’t be a big deal.
    Optionally, cut a couple of thin strips of tape to cover the exposed adhesive on the inside of the pocket.

    Finally, make a couple of slits in the bottom of the pocket, right at the back. Slip a couple of black 8″ cable ties down inside the pocket and out through the slits. Take the windscreen off and run the ties back around the windscreen bracket and tighten them up. Use pliers to get them nice and tight as that makes them lay flat.
    Finished pocket
    Snip off the tails and put the windscreen back on and you’re all set!
    So a piece of black plastic, Some electrical tape, and 2 cable ties; not quite free, but pretty damn close!

    I’ve used it a few times, and it’s quite secure and reads just fine. It might not hold up to severe jostling like you might find off-road. Other than my driveway, I don’t plan on much of that.


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  • 29 Apr 2008 /  Motorcycling

    Just picked up a “new” bike. A 2007 Vstrom 650 with 1200 miles. It’s basically brand new and even has an extended warranty. So far I’m very happy with it, it’s a lot like the BMW F650 (which will be up for sale soon). The V-twin makes a bit more power and does it more smoothly than the single in the F650. The fuel injection means no more fussing with a choke, yes it seems I have gotten that lazy. It sure nice to have things like a fuel gauge too. Being built in lawyer times, the thing has about a dozen warning stickers on it, I’ll have to get rid of those.


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